The existence of outer space presumes the existence of inner space, which is infinitely more complex.
Outer space is that part of the universe we can foul up with rockets, satellites, and dropped spanners. It is our celestial scrapyard, and het more evidence . . . if any more were needed . . . of the difference between humans and, for example, dogs. Dogs actually don’t like to foul their own living space. They are a superior species, which has domesticated human beings and trained them to go for walks in any kind of weather. This has enabled the dog to become one of the most successful species on the planet.
Inner space, on the other hand, is where we dump all the things that we don’t want to, or dare to, talk about. We don’t even talk about it to ourselves when we are alone in the bathroom. Included in here will be strange houses and even stranger people, red things and mousetraps.
It’s amazing how much stuff you can get in to a thing the size of a football.
In a way, this blog is an exploration of my inner space. Although it obviously examines the world around me, my reactions and relationship with those objects are my real field of enquiry.
When Ruby and I go for our morning walk . . . she trotting along with her tail in the air, me sitting precariously balanced on top of my tiny scooter, like a huge pimple on the end of a nose . . . we are, in fact, doing a walk into my inner space.
It is as dangerous as the spacewalk of an astronaut, and it requires equally careful preparation.
My space suit is bulky and complicated. There is a correct order to putting it on. Get it wrong and I will drown in the void of the world.
I know it’s a drag for all of us, this dressing to go out business, but for me it’s as clumsy as it would be in zero gravity.
First, shoes come off and waterproof trousers are put on. Legs get very cold if you don’t move them, especially in the wind. The legs are completed with thick socks and walking boots, just in case I encounter water or rock. Feet get really cold in trainers, and they’re lethal if you have to walk on ice.
Then a ‘puffa jacket’, or lightweight, high tech Gillet (spelling?), put on over the head, because zips and buttons to a blind man are inventions of the Devil.
Then, over everything, a waterproof, windproof plastic bag, known as a cagoule. It has lots of tiny holes in it, apparently, which let water out but not in. It breathes.
How does it do that? Just don’t ask!
Now we put on black gloves, and wool mittens on top of the gloves. Black, frost-bitten fingers are not recommended to the inner space traveller.
Then, a waterproof hat, with a peak for the low sun, and ear muffs for the biting wind.
After all this, you will be exhausted and will find it almost impossible to move. Collapsing onto the scooter seat is about the only thing you can do.
And then you have to manipulate the key for the door and the lead for the dog.
Is it any surprise when I forget to check the battery level?